22 Feb 2014

German former champ, Italian athlete test positive for drugs in Sochi

7:27 am on 22 February 2014

Germany's two-time Olympic cross-country skiing champion Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Italian four-man bobsleigh member William Frullani have been thrown out of the Sochi Winter Olympics after testing positive for drugs.

Sachenbacher-Stehle, who was competing in the biathlon in Sochi but did not win a medal, tested positive for the stimulant methylhexanamin.

Sachenbacher-Stehle, provisionally banned for five days before the start of the Turin 2006 Olympics for high levels of haemoglobin in her blood, won gold in the team sprint free event at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 4x5km relay at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

The 33-year-old, who also won silver in the 4x5km relay in Turin, narrowly missed out on medals in Sochi, coming fourth in the 12.5km mass start and the mixed relay.

She told German media that she can't explain how the doping test could be positive.

Frullani, a police officer by profession, was dropped from the team due to compete this weekend after testing positive for the substance dymetylpentylamine, and left the village.

The two cases mean the Sochi Games have had more positive tests than the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, where only one athlete was caught for using banned substances.